Hundreds of romand gold coins under a theater.

9:20 AM

 A unique hoard of gold coins from the late Imperial era has been discovered in downtown Como, Lombardy, northern Italy. They were contained in a soapstone amphora which has a big chunk missing so the pile of glimmering coin within was clearly visible at first sight. They all date to the 5th century. Coins from this period are very rare because currency didn’t flow as efficiently through the imperial economic system. The quantity and quality of the coins are exceptional, especially for the late empire. The 27 were minted in the reigns of the Emperors Honorius (r. 384–423), Valentinian III (r. 425-455), Leo I the Thracian (r. 457-474) and his short-lived co-emperor Libius Severus (r. 461-465).


No such hoard has even been unearthed in northern Italy before. The gold is in an excellent state of preservation making the images and engravings on the coins and thus the engraver, year and sponsor relatively easily to discern. There are an estimated 300 coins in the amphora (which is itself of major significance because it is of a previously unknown design). Whoever placed the jar in that place “buried it in such a way that in case of danger they could go and retrieve it,” . The find site is just a few feet away from the forum of the Roman city where merchants, banks and temples would have done brisk cash business. It was also an elite residential neighborhood, however, so it’s not out of the question that a private individual rolled up his own wealth.






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